Projects: SABIC/Sinopec Trinidad methanol project in doubt

16 July 2012 00:00  [Source: ICB]

A gas-to-chemicals project in Trinidad and Tobago proposed by SABIC and Sinopec appears to be in doubt as talks over a natural gas contract falter, according to industry sources. The proposed methanol-to-chemicals project in Point Lisas calls for 225m cubic feet/day of natural gas.

In February, the Trinidad government began negotiations with Saudi major SABIC and China's state-owned Sinopec but a sticking point apparently arose over whether there was enough gas available to supply the project.

Persistent natural gas curtailments to methanol, ammonia and other producers during the past year have cut into Trinidad's output. Its methanol production dropped 8% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, according to data from the country's central bank.

Meanwhile, the US has been gaining in popularity as a location for methanol plants. Trinidad supplies about 70% of US methanol imports but that percentage is expected to decline during the next few years because of plans to restart or build plants in the US.

By: Lane Kelley
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